Tuesday, 27 March 2018

More fake antisemitism: Jeremy Corbyn smeared again...

... but he retains a lot of Labour's Jewish supporters too.

Tony Greenstein has the story.

Last week Corbyn was the friend of Putin. This week Corbyn is an anti-Semite. The charge of the false anti-Semitism brigade has been led by Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and various right-wing Labour MPs.

Could this be the same Jonathan Arkush who welcomed Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, his anti-Semitic alt-Right Advisor, to power? As the Jewish Forward in America reported ‘Anti-Semitic incidents, from bomb threats and cemetery desecration to assaults and bullying, have surged in the United States since the election of President Donald Trump.’

Throughout his campaign Trump gave a nod and a wink to blatant anti-Semitic messages and caricatures. As the New Republic observed ‘Donald Trump is doing a very strange pro-Israel, anti-Semitic dance.’ And therein lies the clue. Trump and the alt-Right combine anti-Semitism with vehement support for Zionism. The alt-Right might not like American Jews very much but they love Israel.

Naomi Zeveloff of the Forward wrote,an article, in shock and surprise, in the Jewish Forward, How Steve Bannon and Breitbart News Can Be Pro-Israel — and Anti-Semitic at the Same Time. Historically Zionism and anti-Semitism were two sides of the same racist coin. As the founder of Political Zionism Theodor Herzl wrote:

“In Paris ... I achieved a freer attitude towards anti-semitism, which I now began to understand historically and to pardon. Above all I recognise the emptiness and futility of trying to ‘combat’ anti-semitism.”

Zionism has never fought anti-Semitism because it starts from the basis that anti-Semitism is a hereditary disease that all non-Jews possess. That is what makes this false anti-Semitism campaign no nauseating.


We have the phenomenon today of people like Richard Spencer, the neo-Nazi founder of the alt-Right declaring that he is a White Zionist. If you are a white supremacist what is there not to like about Israel. It is the ideal ethno-racial state. That is the clue to Arkush’s outbursts – it’s not anti-Semitism that he is concerned with but opposition to Israel. If Corbyn had been like Tony Blair, a supporter of Israel and Zionism then he would not have received such treatment. It is no accident that Arkush demanded today that Jackie Walker, a Black Jewish anti-racist activist be expelled. This is the logic of the false anti-Semitism campaign – it is anti-Zionist and anti-racist Jews who are their primary targets. That was why I was expelled.

Read the whole, lengthy exposé, here

Bitcoin Trader is a scam

I occasionally get pages from the Daily Caller pitched to me through facebook (I think). Today I clicked through on a story about Trump. Roaming around a bit I saw an intriguing title claiming the BBC's Dragon's Den was being axed and I clicked through as well, landing on this page (which is notably NOT about DD going out of business!)

The page in question is a kind of cleverly written review stroke testimonial about an alleged wunder product that claims it can all make us rich by robotrading Bitcoin crypto currency. Especially the use of the DD dragons gives the presentation an air of veracity and respectability.

But you know the old saying: if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is!

Some searches for the claimed Dragon's Den episode yielded suspiciously zero. But they did notably cough up several pages claiming what I was beginning to think: that Bitcoin Trader is yet another fat scam, preying on hapless (and probably desperate) marks.

Apparently there are some "binary options" forex trading platforms that can, when used with skill and patience, give decent yields but BCT isn't one of them.

From another reviewer:

There is nothing like a software which can make you filthy rich with just a few clicks in the day. The idea of earning money without doing anything much itself is flawed. You should ignore such out of the world claims whenever you come across them. The scammers run their complete business around tricking people and effecting frauds. You should stay away from the Bitcoin Trader at all costs. This software is not worth your time or money. You should take our advice seriously and even warn your family and friends if they are considering investing their moneys in it.

Don't be fooled, people...

Oh and shame on the Daily Caller for advertising BCT and in such a devious way too...

Monday, 26 March 2018

Run away from the Hill: John Bolton's back!

John Bolton has advocated for war with Iran and North Korea. He loathes the United Nations, disdains international law and still thinks the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq was the right idea. He’s a China skeptic and a Russia hawk who, as one former colleague from the Bush administration put it to me the other day, never met a military option he didn’t like.

And he’s confrontational in person too. Bolton, President Trump’s choice to replace the national security adviser he unceremoniously dumped on Thursday, is already criticizing the staff he stands to inherit, publicly vowing to bulldoze any bureaucratic “munchkins” who stand in his or the president’s way. Bolton is, in short, a most unusual figure in American foreign policy: personally belligerent and professionally bellicose, and soon to be the closest adviser to an inexperienced president on how to handle all the world’s many challenges.

So how alarmed should we be?

Find out!

The patriot game

The Far Right in Britain isn’t just on the march, it’s taking violent, murderous action. A neo-Nazi group called National Action applauded the murder and the murderer of a young female member of the British Parliament, Jo Cox. Other alleged members are charged with plotting the murder of another MP; while two British soldiers, said to be from the same group, are facing serious terrorism charges. Fascism and far-right extremism, street violence and confrontation isn’t new in Britain. It dates back to at least the 1930s and Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts. Today’s incarnations are no less deadly. George Galloway investigates how it began, how it developed, and reveals the major players in the latest mass-street movement.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

The kids are doing it for themselves...

Here's the numbers: Between a quarter and a third of Americans are gun owners (exact data is not collected so we're reliant on estimates). Or to put that another way, between two thirds and three quarters of Americans do not own a gun and see no need to.

A very large number of American gun owners own one gun. A farmer who owns an ancient .22 "varmint rifle" will contribute to the figures without contributing to the problem at all.

Two thirds of Americans want stricter gun controls. So please don't generalise about "Americans" being a bunch of gun-crazy loons. A large majority of them are perfectly sane and normal people like you and me.

About half of America's guns are owned by three percent of the population. That's about 150 million guns owned by about nine and three quarter million people, or roughly 15 guns each in this minority freak market. The Vegas shooter owned 47 guns! Nine and three quarter million is a lot of people, but in a base population of over 300 million it is tiny.

For the arms manufacturers, the freak market is very important. It may be small but it is extremely lucrative, because they can sell anything there. The more bizarre and destructive a weapon is, the better their chances of selling it. "Hey, I like that, gimme three of them". These are the people who, whenever there is a shooting atrocity, rush out to buy yet more assault rifles. 3% may be a tiny minority of the population, but on a base population of 323 million, that’s still a lot of gun sales. The manufacturers know they can sell a couple of million copies of almost any weapon they make in this market.

The arms manufacturers don't just love the freak market, they need it. They are utterly dependent on it. They would very rapidly go bust without it. Colt did go bust in 2015 and has since "restructured". However, that is probably only postponing the inevitable, as "restructuring" a shaky company often does no more than buy time before the final collapse. Remington is entering the same process right now. Ruger and others are feeling the pinch as well. American arms manufacturers’ finances are so shaky they simply cannot afford to pass up such a rich and convenient source of sales. They play to it because they have to.

The freak market are the people most likely to respond to silly overheated rhetoric about "protecting freedom" and how guns are a good thing generally and how a "good guy with a gun" can stop a "bad guy with a gun", which the record does not bear out at all, or even the recent “let’s arm teachers” nonsense. Now a corporation cannot come out with this sort of stuff, because it has to maintain appearances of respectability. But the NRA can say it all on their behalf. The NRA claims not to receive any funding from the gun manufacturers but they lie. In fact they have received millions. The NRA, through a sustained and expert campaign of propaganda, has managed to spread the idea that if you are not one of the 3% of gun nuts who make up the freak market, you are somehow not a proper "patriot". If this means ensuring mentally disturbed teenagers can buy assault rifles, so be it.

So next time there's a shooting atrocity, remember, the victims did not die because "freedom is sacred" or because of the "Second Amendment", or even, heaven help us, because of what the sacred American flag means. They died to prevent corporate profits from falling through the floor. It's about money, nothing else.